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July 13, 2018

Word of the Day: Gumption

1 CQ

Word of the Day : July 13, 2018

gumption \GUMP-shun\ noun


1 chiefly dialectal : common sense, horse sense

2 : enterprise, initiative

Did You Know?

English speakers have had gumption (the word, that is) since the early 1700s. The term's exact origins aren't known, but its earliest known uses are found in British and especially Scottish dialects (which also include the forms rumblegumption and rumgumption). In its earliest uses, gumption referred to common sense. American English speakers adopted the word and took it in a new direction, using it refer to the kind of courage or get-up-and-go that makes undertaking difficult things possible. Artists may know the word with another application: it's also used to refer to the art of preparing painters' colors.

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Aired July 13, 2018

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